signed through the 2016 campaign season at least. This had the Fox News executives feeling pretty smug -- at least until the election debacle that was totally misjudged by Fox commentators.
For months before the election, Hannity preached to his viewers that Willard Mitt Romney was a lock to win the election, and he brought on a whole cadre of right-wingers to back up his perception. Even when polls began to show that Romney was falling short of expectations, especially in the critical swing states, Hannity keep up his misguided prediction (saying the polls were skewed and Romney was really ahead). It is because of this total misreading of the American electorate by Hannity and his Fox News cohorts, that right-wingers (who depend exclusively on Fox for their "news") were so shocked at the real thumping the Republicans received on election night.
Now Fox News might be regretting the long contract they gave Hannity, because it looks like a large part of his audience has abandoned him (perhaps angry because he was so badly wrong about the election). Hannity's December numbers have dropped from nearly 4 million viewers to around 1.95 million viewers. That's a drop in his rating of nearly 50%. And that's not all of the bad news. In the 25 to 54 age demographic (the group most coveted by advertisers), the drop was even more -- falling more than 50%.
In addition, for the first time at least two of the MSNBC commentators have received ratings higher than Hannity's. Those commentators are Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. A few months ago, most people would not have thought that was possible.
O'Reilly fared a little better than Hannity did. His viewership only dropped by about 30%. The December ratings show he lost about 1.1 million viewers. It's starting to look like even right-wingers don't appreciate being lied to and told that things are going their way when the opposite is true.